The Africa World Trade Network (AWTN) has signed a partnership agreement with the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat to accelerate intra-regional trade and investment through exhibitions, meetings, and events.
The partnership seeks to mobilise private sector actors across Africa to drive the attainment of strategic objectives that underpin the AfCFTA Agreement.
It is also to work towards three common objectives that support continental trade and investment promotions across Africa and promote the overall objectives of the AfCFTA Agreement.
The objectives include co-organising and hosting forums that support continental trade and investment promotions in Africa and promote the overall objectives of the AfCFTA Agreement; supporting the growth and development of Africa’s commercial community and collaborating on matters of common interest in the pursuance of enhancing intra-trade on the continent, a statement issued by the Secretariat and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, said.
Mr Otwasuom Osae Nyampong VI, Board Chair of AWTN in a statement, said “Intra-regional trade promises a real win for Africa, and the AfCFTA Secretariat is at the forefront of this significant progress in the continent’s history.”
He described the AfCFTA initiative as a second Pan- African victory after independence.
“AWTN on its part has recognised this watershed moment and will act as a catalyst to boost trade relations among member states and businesses across the continent,” he added.
In the partnership, the Board Chair said AWTN committed to initiate and escalate innovative programmes to mobilise investment opportunities that would enhance sustainable trade across Africa as envisioned by AfCFTA.
Mr Wamkele Mene, Secretary-General of the AfCFTA Secretariat, reiterated his commitment to ensuring that AfCFTA was effectively implemented for shared and inclusive economic growth.
He said: “After many years of talks and negotiations, we are now focused on rolling out the AfCFTA across the continent,“ and identified young Africans and women in the trade as segments of society that must benefit from the implementation of the Agreement.
“It is Africa’s time, and through the AfCFTA we have a unique opportunity to turn a new page on Africa’s economic development and growth trajectory,” Mr Mene added.
The Secretary-General underscored the need to enhance the platforms of engagement between the public and private sectors, indicating that it was for that reason that partnerships between the private sector, government, and developmental institutions were needed to help collaborate and find solutions to common challenges.
AfCFTA operates a continental system of trade rules, it acts as a platform for negotiating trade protocols, facilitates the settlement of disputes between State Parties, and monitors the implementation of the AfCFTA Agreement.
Currently, 54 countries have signed on to the AfCFTA with 37 countries as State Parties by the deposit of their instruments of ratification of the Agreement.
AWTN’s partnership with AfCFTA Secretariat is premised on the continent’s developmental agenda and speaks to the new “Africa Beyond Aid Agenda.”
Like the AfCFTA Secretariat, AWTN is headquartered in Accra and has been recognised as a beacon for transformative development in the sub-region.